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Polk Streetscape Project

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Polk Street is a thriving neighborhood and commercial corridor that serves an important transportation function for San Francisco. It also has some of the highest pedestrian and bicycle collision rates in the City. On average, one person walking and one person biking are hit by a vehicle each month on Polk Street (122 in a five-year period).

For years, Polk Street has been the site of many traffic-related injuries and the corridor is currently on San Francisco’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. This network represents 12 percent of San Francisco’s surface streets and is where injuries, including severe and fatal injuries, are most concentrated.

San Francisco's Vision Zero policy calls for eliminating traffic-related fatalities by 2024.

The corridor is not only the designated street for the #No. 19 Muni bus line; it also is a preferred north-south bicycle route due to its flatter terrain. Polk Street also is a popular place for people to walk.

The Polk Streetscape Project was designed to enable safe access for all road users of all ages and abilities. Through community input and technical evaluation, the proposed design includes corridor-wide safety improvements and additional streetscape amenities at key locations.

Partnering on the project are San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Planning Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The Polk Streetscape Project aims to increase safety for people walking and biking on Polk Street, as well as improve the efficiency of transit on the corridor. This project will build on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by improving safety and transportation choices.

Upcoming improvements on Polk Street between Beach and McAllister streets and nearby alleyways will include repaving, street base repair, sidewalk corner bulb-outs, to shorten the crossing distance, ADA-compliant curb ramp upgrades, Muni bus stop optimization; such as bus stop consolidation or relocation, bus bulb-outs for easier boarding, and left and right turn lanes to improve traffic flow, raised cycle tracks, green bike lanes, sewer replacements, water line replacement, traffic signal upgrades, high visibility crosswalks, better visibility at crosswalks, commercial-loading improvements, landscaping, tree planting, street lighting and alley enhancements to Fern Alley, to enhance the pedestrian and bicyclist experience with the creation of a well-lit plaza atmosphere, widening of the existing sidewalk, decorative asphalt, raised crosswalks, traffic calming measures and planting of palm trees.

To help achieve these improvements, the design necessitates the removal of 106 parking spaces along the Polk Street corridor and 28 spaces on side streets.

Updates on changes of design elements on the Polk Streetscape Project:

SFMTA has recently announced that plans for Polk Street bike lane will be modified from raised to road level.
The previous plan for the Polk Streetscape Project included a raised bike lane, with a two-inch mountable curb, on the northbound side of Polk from McAllister to Pine streets. But in our experiment with different curb designs last year on Market Street, we found that raised bike lanes on commercial streets like Polk should have a parking-protected configuration, with a lane of car parking and loading zones between the bike lane and the roadway, to prevent drivers from parking in the bikeway.
 
Making room for that parking lane on Polk would require major changes to the plan already under construction. To make the bike lane safer without a major delay, the northbound bike lane will no longer be raised but will be built at road level with plastic safe-hit posts and a painted buffer zone to separate it from the traffic lanes.
 
For more information, visit www.sfmta.com.
 
Crosswalk design at Polk and Green streets will be modified to reflect SFMTA crosswalk guidelines and to meet budget constraints.
Crosswalks along Polk Street are marked using continental striping. The SFMTA adopted continental crosswalk striping as the citywide standard in May 2014. The proposed decorative crosswalk shown at Polk and Green by the City in March 2014 during the community outreach phase of the project will not be used. The high visibility continental crosswalk markings help advance our goal to make Polk Street safer for everyone. We apologize for not notifying the community sooner. 
 
Please be assured that other key safety improvements will be implemented along Polk Street. The City is building on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by investing in new lighting, landscaping, repaving, installation of a protected bike lane, sidewalk bulb-outs, traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals and ADA curb ramp upgrades. 
 

Location

Polk Street from McAllister Street to Beach Street 
Redwood Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Elm Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Willow Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Olive Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Alice B. Toklas Place, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Hemlock Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Fern Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street Alleyway Improvement
Austin Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Frank Norris Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Chestnut Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
North Point Street, Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street

Visit bit.ly/PolkStreetscapeMap for additional details about the project. 


Project and Construction Schedule

Completed Phases:
Community outreach and planning phase: August 2012 - March 2014
Environmental review: September 2014 - January 2015
Engineering public hearing: January 30, 2015
SFMTA Board of Director approvals: March 3, 2015
Detailed Design: Spring 2015 - Winter 2015/2016

Upcoming Phases: 
Construction: October 2016 - 2018

Upcoming Events and Community Meetings: 

Austin Alley - Polk Streetscape Community Meeting: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 7pm
Lower Polk Neighbors Community Meeting
First Congregational Church of San Francisco
1300 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Construction Sequence 

The Polk Streetscape Project is anticipated to be completed in six segments. Please note that the following construction durations for each segment are approximate estimates and are subject to change. The projected construction schedule is as follows*: 

Segment 5: October 2016 - September 2017
Segment 4: November 2016 - November 2017
Segment 3: August 2017 - April 2018
Segment 2: September 2017 - June 2018
Segment 1: March 2018 - July 2018
Segment 6: May 2018 - August 2018

*Please note that the construction schedule is subject to change due to rain, equipment breakdown, and/or unforeseen field conditions. Please see posted "No Parking" barricade signs for exact parking restrictions. Parking restrictions may vary per block. 

Polk Streetscape Project Construction Activity Update:

08.16.17San Francisco Water Department crews will be onsite beyond normal work hours (typically 8 AM - 5 PM) on 08/16/17, at the intersection of Polk and Bay streets. San Francisco Water Department crews anticipate completing work and reopening roadways to vehicles by 8 PM. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Crews have completed bus pad, parking strip, street base and Muni bus loading island work at Polk and North Point streets in segment 5. Manhole installation work on Polk at the intersections of Pacific and Broadway in segment 4 has been complete. Paving dates for North Point Street, from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street have been updated and is now anticipated to occur between 9/12/17 - 9/14/17. 33" sewer installation work is ongoing on Polk between Pine and California in segment 3.
 
08.08.17: Crews are currently working on street base work on North Point between Polk and Larkin streets and on manhole walls and roof installation work at the intersection of Polk and Pacific and will be on-site beyond the normal working hours of 8 AM - 5 PM today due to a delayed delivery of concrete. Crews anticipate finishing up work at both locations and allowing parking to resume at approximately 7 PM. Parking restrictions will be in place until work is complete. Please follow directions of crew members in the work zone. We apologize for the delay and inconvenience. 

08.04.17: Crews will be working Saturday 8/5/2017 from 8AM to 6PM at the intersection of Polk and Broadway to perform manhole installation work. Crews anticipate completing manhole installation work at Polk and Pacific by 8/11 and at Polk and Broadway by 8/16.

08.01.17: San Francisco Water Department Crews completed 8" water connection work Monday night at the intersection of Polk and North Point streets. Crews began work at 11:55 PM and completed work by 4 AM. Crews have completed bus pad work on North Point and have begun south side parking strip work on North Point Street and anticipate begining west bound street base work on 08/02. Water tie-in work at Polk and Bay is on going. Crews are continuting to work at the intersections of Polk and Broadway and Polk and Pacific performing manhole work, which is anticipated to continue through the end of the week. PG&E crews were also on site at Polk and Green and Polk and Vallejo performing electrical work for the upgraded street lights on 07/31 and 08/01. Crews anticipate begining water service work on Polk from North Point to Chestnut streets the week of 08/07. Crews also anticipate starting curb ramp work at the SE corner of Polk and North Point on 08/10. Sewer work on Polk between California and Pine is anticipated to begin on Monday 08/07 and is anticipated to continue through the end of August. 

07.25.17: Night work scheduled on 07/24 at Polk and Chestnut streets was cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date. Crews have begun concrete work on North Point Street and will be working on bus pad installation, parking strip, street base, curb ramp, bus loading island, pavement renovation and final roadway paving work over the next few weeks. Final paving of North Point Street between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street is anticipated to occur between August 22nd and 23rd, with paving of North Point between Polk and Larkin streets to follow shortly after. Weekend work may be required on Saturday, July 29th, 2017 to complete parking strip work on North Point Street. 

Construction activity in segment 3 will kick off with the start of sewer installation work on Polk between California and Pine streets starting the week of 07/31 08/07. Crews have also already begun man hole excavation work at the Polk Street intersections of Pacific and Broadway streets. Construction of man holes at these intersections is also anticipated to begin the week of 07/31. 

07.17.17: Crews are wrapping up water work in segment 4 and have begun curb ramp work at Polk and Chestnut streets. Crews also began street light upgrade and pole installation work between Union and Vallejo on Friday, July 14, 2017. During the week of July 17th, crews will continue streetlight upgrade work in segment 4 on Polk between Union and Vallejo streets. Street light upgrade work is anticipated to continue through Friday, July 21st. Crews anticipate starting concrete work on North Point Street starting Monday July 24th, beginning with bus pad installation work at Polk and North Point Street and parking strip work on the south side of North Point Street. Crews anticipate starting construction activity in Segment 3 starting the week of July 24th, beginning with manhole excavation and construction work on Polk at the intersections of Pacific and Broadway, and sewer main installation work on Polk between Pine and California streets starting the week of July 31st.

Construction Update Archive

(02/2017-07/2017)

(08/2016-01/2017)

Construction Cost / Funding

Approximately $18,000,000
This project was made possible in part by Proposition K Sales Tax dollars provided by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

This project is also partially funded by: 
2011 Road Paving and Street Safety Bond (Prop B)
2014 Transportation and Road Improvement Bond (Prop A)
Proposition K - Your Sales Tax Dollars at Work
PUC Wastewater Bond Fund
PUC Water Enterprise Bond Fund
SFMTA Revenue Bond
Lower Polk Neighbors
Lower Polk Community Benefit District

Additional Information

More information on the Polk Streetscape Project can be found on the following partner websites:
Municipal Transportation Agency
SF Planning

Related Projects: 
Van Ness Improvement Project
19-Polk Bus Stop Changes

Polk Street Traffic Signal Upgrade Project 

The Polk Street Traffic Signal Upgrade Project began construction in January 2017 and will continue through June 2017. Work will occur at nine intersections from Union to Post streets. 

07.25.17: Crews are wrapping up construction activity and have begun switching over and turning on signals at various locations along the project limits, including at the intersections of Polk and Union, Pacific, Jackson and Clay.  Wire, pole installation and switch over work at Post, Broadway, Sacramento, Pacific, Clay and California is currently ongoing and anticipated to be completed in the next few weeks. Work on Polk at Washington is still pending and anticipated to start in the next few weeks. Once work is complete, crews will work to remove existing signal equipment and perform final repair of impacted sidewalk along the project limits.

Archived Construction Updates

(01/2017-07/2017)

The projected construction schedule and anticipated start dates*: 

Union: January 2017
Broadway: January 2017
Pacific: January 2017
Jackson:  February 2017
Washington:  February 2017
Clay: February 2017
Sacramento: March 2017
California: March 2017
Post: March 2017
*Please note that the construction schedule is subject to change due to rain, equipment breakdown, and/or unforeseen field conditions. Please see posted "No Parking" barricade signs for exact parking restrictions. Parking restrictions may vary per block. 

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Streets & Streetscapes
STATUS In Progress
Location
Polk Street, from McAllister St. to Beach St.
Start Date August 2016
Completion Date December 2018
Budget
$18,000,000
Project Manager
David Froehlich
Project Team
Contact
Coma Te
Phone
(415) 558-5283